Bad Skepticism: New Live Show from Skeptoid

The Loch Ness Monster has inspired plenty of bad skepticism.

“Skeptics” often do as much bad science as anyone. We don’t like to admit it any more than anyone else does, but nevertheless there it is.

Some colossally bad explanations for things that either didn’t need explanations (because they never never happened) or that already had them (because the skeptical investigators stopped short in their research) have been put forth. This is not a criticism, rather it’s an opportunity for us all to take as a teachable moment. And that’s the gist of my newest live show, “Bad Skepticism”. 

There is some great news if you are interested in hearing this talk. Skeptoid Media is waiving the fee for the first three presentations, because we’re refining it and making it even better. If you don’t already see three scheduled events for “Bad Skepticism” on the live show calendar, then you can grab one. All you need is a minimum audience size of 50 people, and be willing to cover the travel costs.

The show is a lot of fun and covers stories that everyone in your audience will have heard about, no matter their background. It’s relevant for education, business, or almost anyone else, in that it is intended first as an educational program. Learning about the mistakes others have made is the best way to avoid making them yourself.

Visit the speaking page for booking information.

About Brian Dunning

Science writer Brian Dunning is the host and producer of Skeptoid.
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9 Responses to Bad Skepticism: New Live Show from Skeptoid

  1. Macky says:

    The overall agenda of Brian’s show seems on the surface a welcome counter to pseudo-science that may include conspiracy theories, and I have no doubt that it will be to a certain extent.

    Unfortunately, while Skeptoid’s mandate over the years has proven to be quite correct in many relatively minor subjects, with some solid science admittedly clearing things up for those who have/had questions, its redefinitions of what a conspiracy theory actually is (so tight that virtually no CT could ever be proven), and the abandoning of Skeptoid’s own mandate for critical analysis in several very important issues, renders Skeptoid a questionable educational source for historical accuracy, as several posters have pointed out over the years.

    I understand the need for Skeptoid to close down any further comments (except of course its blog) but the deletion of all the posters’ comments over the years ends up providing no public endorsements or counters to Skeptoid’s articles, that readers and students can examine critically, and make up their own minds what is their truth as they see it.

    Skeptoid at that point becomes merely a showcase for one man’s opinion and his supporters, sometimes certainly well-evidenced and supported by science, but what appears to be also a site for the promotion of the Official Story, no matter what. Worse still, the emphasis on CT bashing distorts and tends to smother the plain fact that there are plenty of actual conspiracies that have been proven, without engaging in wild CT’s.

    Young people will examine Skeptoid’s site, sans comments, with many articles comprising at least half CT bashing in some form or other, without being able to read any counters, plus public shows (as the above) no doubt cementing Skeptoid’s position on those agendas, and Skeptoid should simply now change its name to something like ‘Brian Dunning’s Science Site’, and separate the CT-bashing part of Skeptoid into another site/forum, so that science/pseudo-science proofs are not mixed up with critical analysis of history and all its different versions, as demonstrated in the past (and present on the blog).

    Skeptoid as it stands now, is no longer a site for skeptics, having all but closed down its facility for those who are skeptical of Skeptoid’s skepticism, not only currently, but historically.

  2. mudguts says:

    I hope the show does well!

    As to the comment on comments; music for my eyes. Its like shutting down a large box of woo and watching the tearing of gowns, the gnashing of teeth and the ash face blackening begin.. The habit of quacks and pagan leaders for 3 millenia..

    Mind you, I never saw a skeptoid on computerised tomography in the back log..

    • Macky says:

      And by Skeptoid’s own stated mandate under its title i.e. Critical Analysis Of Pop Phenomena, the comments section was a forum for Skeptoid to demonstrate the dominance of science over pseudo-science, and when scientific proofs were not applicable on some Skeptoid subjects, the advantage of critical thinking and analysis over urban legends and media programming.

      That didn’t always happen, with Skeptoid and its pro-Official Story supporters often engaging in anything but critical analysis, silence towards solid evidence often the mode of Skeptoid’s “skepticism”, the use of science where it suited Skeptoid but not in other areas such as 911, and the encouragement of outlandish scenarios in order to bash CT’s and their proponents.
      The wholesale personnel derision of those that had an alternative explanation was constant and in many cases, unremitting, and the refusal to answer straight questions ongoing and still remains, among so-called skeptics.

      Now that most of all that has been deleted, Skeptoid should change its name to something more suitable for those whose science is the all and end-all to their belief system, and that’s okay, no problem about that.

      But skepticism and critical analysis, it is not.

      • mudguts says:

        Yes, I remember the endless ranting.

        • Macky says:

          Do you ? Then I hope you also remember 3.5 years of your endless derision in place of straight answers to straight questions, solid evidence treated with your meandering musings but again no actual arguments against my skepticism, and off-topic comments designed to lead the main points off into irrelevancy.

  3. mudguts says:

    Macky.. the reason why I left skeptoid was because you kept claiming Brian had invited you over..

    No point arguing that..

    Brian wants a Quack friendly conspiratorial woo artists that cant keep his anecdotes straight.. Brian can keep him..

    Yer the gift that keeps giving..

    • Macky says:

      I’m sorry Henk but I don’t see why you should have felt compelled to ‘leave’ Skeptoid. You wrote some good things to other posters, when it came to pure scientific facts.
      Your derision and distortion about some non-scientific events/personal experiences etc and refusal to answer straight questions was your choice, and apart from only a few responses in kind of my own, I stuck to whatever I was saying in anticipation of some dialectic from your undoubtedly learned store of knowledge which unfortunately never eventuated.

      You were there when Brian first encouraged me to keep posting on Skeptoid. We have been in personal contact occasionally over the years and if Brian wants me to stop posting, he need only email me and I will do as he asks.

      My criticisms of Skeptoid and the way some posters utterly avoid answering straight questions and solid evidence in contrast to their views is only an attempt to maintain what Skeptoid stands for, science and critical analysis, and a considered discussion on those subjects which are not scientifically proven but are a large part of the world scene.

      You’re a scientist yourself Henk, and if you thought I was posting “woo” then it was an opportunity to scientifically or logically prove me wrong, and as I promised on Skeptoid, I would change my views, but you squandered those opportunities on loud derision and diversionary meanderings plus refusing to answer direct questions.

      Like your alleged “departure” from Skeptoid, that was your choice.

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